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Thu Nov 21, 2019, 08:08 PM

Any experience with "emotional support animals"?

I suffer from pretty severe anxiety disorder as well as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I see a psychiatrist regularly, have a number of prescribed medicines, and also have a regular therapist.

I used to have a dog - a lab mix I got from the pound - who would sit next to me on the couch or in bed when I was feeling anxiety. He made sure his body made contact with mine. He was so calm when you touched him - there was no muscle tension in his body at all, which was different from other dogs I have had. I also suffer terrible nightmares and he would wake me up if I was having a bad one. I slept so much better at night with him by my side.

He passed away, and I was hospitalized for a time. When I got out, I had to relocate to an apartment building that doesn't allow dogs. I understand that my state has a law that requires a landlord to allow a dog if you can get a note from a doctor or therapist that says you benefit from having an emotional support animal.

I'm not sure where to begin with this: how can I get a dog declared an "emotional support animal" when I haven't even adopted one yet? And if I adopt one, where do I keep him / her until I can get the official documentation?

One idea I thought of is to foster a dog, have my sister take care of him until I can get the documentation and clear it with my landlord. Then I can move the dog into the apartment.

Is this a workable solution, or should I save up the big bucks to get an honest-to-god PTSD service dog?

Thanks for anyone who has experience with emotional support animals or service dogs.

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Reply Any experience with "emotional support animals"? (Original post)
MountCleaners Nov 2019 OP
napi21 Nov 2019 #1
cwydro Nov 2019 #2
mopinko Nov 2019 #3
virgogal Nov 2019 #4
napi21 Nov 2019 #5
I_UndergroundPanther Dec 2019 #6

Response to MountCleaners (Original post)

Thu Nov 21, 2019, 08:38 PM

1. Talk to your therapist. I'm positive your landlord will OK a dog for you. My cousin got a service

dog while lining in an apt with a no dog policy. You're ight, legally they MUST allow service animals. You my have to get a trained therapy dog. One thing I can tell you is that my cousin's dog was a trained service dog. That means trained to not be a barker, trained to potty outside, not bark at noises out in the hall, just be a good tenant like the humans are.

Talk to your therapist. He/she should be able to help you with getting a therapy dog of your own.

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Response to napi21 (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 21, 2019, 09:04 PM

2. Yes, this.

Donít get any dog - get one trained for what you need.

Dogs are wonderful, but they canít cure anything, nor can they act as a true service animal without that training.

I have dogs, and I always have had dogs. Hell yes, they support me emotionally, but in no way could the silly little widgets handle being a main support mechanism. They donít know they support me; they are just my little loves. We support each other.

If you want a support animal, please get one trained for that.

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Response to MountCleaners (Original post)

Thu Nov 21, 2019, 09:54 PM

3. i second the recommendation to get a trained service dog if you can.


emotional support dogs are not the same as service dogs. i think most landlords will allow an emotional support animal, but i am not sure they legally have to.

sometimes you can get wash out from service dog programs who are well trained, but sometimes a little too shy for some work, or not energetic enough to work non-stop.

not sure how you would find one, but i guess i would start by contacting anyone locally who does the training. maybe a local vet could point you in the right direction.

i have a bully that is a trained therapy dog. he gives me something to hang onto when things get tough, for sure.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 21, 2019, 10:00 PM

4. Many states have laws allowing

emotional support animals in your apartment.....I know MA does.

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Response to MountCleaners (Original post)

Thu Nov 21, 2019, 11:31 PM

5. I failed to mention that my cousin got his service dog through the assoc. for the Blind. He

didn't have to pay any money, they trained the dog & then trained both he & his dog together. Again, your therapist will be able to get you together with the appropriate org. to acquire a therapy dog.

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Response to MountCleaners (Original post)

Sun Dec 22, 2019, 11:35 PM

6. I have Othello my

ESA cat.

Get the therapists letter,get it signed by your psychiatrist, present it to your landlord,she has to approve it it's a reasonable accommodation. After she gives the okay,go to the shelter and pick out your pup.

Othello helps with my illness and my diabeties. He's my best buddy I literally would be dead without him.

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